Lineup: Eric Scott - Vocals, Gary Phillips – Drums, George Kalender – Bass, Chris McNicol – Guitar.
Starting to play lots of house parties and hall shows, along with WFBE. This was the Drew Shoes period in Downtown, what I consider the salad days for my punk youth, for the scene was on the boom. The Drew Shoes shows were awesome, packed, and only a buck or two for an entire night of live music. Bloody Coup, Mike Westerman’s band, devout Dissonance fan (a.k.a “stickerman”) was around. The Guilty Bystanders were playing a lot, along with Dissonance with Turpen, I remember when Phil and Tanya still had shows at their Poplar street house, by Kearsley Park, Andy was wearing this white wedding dress at one of his first gigs (if not the very first), fuckin’ hilarious. Godspeed was playing shows and did a WFBE recording, “Ball and Chain” is still a song that sticks with me.
During this time, Eric Scott, Chuck Taylor, Dan Menne, and I, were like the 4 musketeers, living close to each other and going to school together. We went through a lot of shit during our high school years, and after, really relied on each other through the flack of life. By mid 1984 we’d seen Black Flag a couple times, the Misfits last show ever at the Greystone, Necros, Circle Jerks, Butthole Surfers, Nig Heist, Meat Puppets, it goes on and on… I was barely 16 and felt I’d seen more than most would in a lifetime.
The Prospect Hall shows were around this time, I think… saw M.D.C. there with Dissonance, incredible show! I think this is where we saw the Necros possibly. Speaking of Necros… I had a band together in the late 90’s with Todd Swalla, the drummer of Necros and Laughing Hyenas (incredible Ann Arbor band!!!). I was at Todd’s parents place in Toledo, OH and saw these old Necros drumheads with the logos on ‘em from their early 80’s tour, I about freaked out, he told me to take ‘em, his mom was pestering him to get his stuff out of the garage anyway… enclosed are pic’s of those.
The Guilty Bystanders and Shocking Grasp: Shows were popping up more frequently, at halls or house parties, and The Guilty Bystanders and Shocking Grasp seemed to play almost every show together. We became friends through these gigs. The Halloween show at Rankin hall is one of our first gigs, and the Guiltys were there as well, I was still into my cutting myself phase (along with my friends, just a phase… whatever), I made a couple cuts on my left hand, that were a bit deeper than I intended, being a new razor blade. I bled all over the Rankin Hall floor where we played, the stains were still visible years later. For some reason that night I dressed up for Halloween with an American Flag as a cape and got shit loads of flack, Eric sported pink thermal underwear and a pink cutoff Thrasher t-shirt, his girlfriend’s jammies, I think. The Guiltys went through drummers like Dissonance did with guitarists, they were always in need of a decent drummer, I remember them early with Dave “Grave” Hollingshead and some other guy with lots of hair…? We played a house party together in Grand Blanc at Kristin and Dionn Michelson’s house in Grand Blanc, probably where Leanne Caputo first saw John Vamossy, inspiring the Miss Pac Man letter… if my memory serves me right. At one of the 1st shows at Ukranian Hall, I remember Steve Newlin, John Vamossy, and I messing around behind the stage area earlier in the day way before the doors even opened, slam dancing and reciting/singing the words to MDC’s “Million Of Dead Cops” album. This may have been the show where I needed to use Steve’s guitar, I think mine pooped out at the last minute. Good Times!